The introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation next month will mean big changes for businesses and consumers alike. Much of the focus so far has been on businesses preparing for the new regulation, but the GDPR is also expected to have a significant impact on consumers, especially in terms of improving the customer journey.
So what will the changes mean for consumers?
The GDPR will give individuals a series of rights, including access to any data held on them and the right to have it erased. A recent study suggests that at least a third of British consumers plan to exercise their right to be forgotten when the legislation comes into force next month, and more than half plan to ask questions about how their data is being used.
As consumers grow more aware of their rights, newly empowered customers now have more expectations when it comes to every interaction they have with brands.
Here are some of the main considerations retailers and customer service providers need to make ahead of the GDPR on 25 May:
Personalisation is more important than ever
If customers choose to opt in and allow businesses access to their data, they will expect more personalisation and tailored communications from the brands they interact with. Many consumers are happy to relinquish their data as long as they are confident that it will be used in the right way and will ultimately make their lives easier.
The GDPR offers up an opportunity for brands with a strong customer service offering to make the most of this by giving consumers a more personalised and streamlined experience from start to finish.
Customer engagement is key
Gathering and analysing customer data will be key to achieving a personalised experience. Rather than storing large amounts of data, it is important for businesses to focus on customer engagement and optimising the overall journey.
The most successful businesses will be the ones that treat their customers as individuals, remembering their preferences and tailoring the content to meet their needs. This will be beneficial for both the consumer and the brand, as it should limit the amount of unwanted communications.
By giving customers full control of their data, GDPR will allow them to feel more empowered. As customers can review or erase their data at any time, brands will have to work harder to keep them engaged.
More focus on brand-customer trust and transparency
With hundreds, even thousands of publicly known data breaches happening worldwide evert year, customers will expect transparency, which involves knowing how and when their data is being collected. To earn confidence and trust, businesses must demonstrate a watertight approach to data protection and offer customers a sense of control in how their information is being used.
As data privacy will always be a genuine concern for consumers, businesses should embrace the opportunity to adopt more stringent data policies across the board.
Offering a more transparent approach to how sensitive information is stored therefore presents a win-win scenario for both the brand and the consumer.
Although the GDPR may seem daunting to businesses, it will provide a much-needed boost in consumer confidence and should be seen as a turning point in improving brand-customer relations.